XFL News Hub has learned that Red Bird Capital Partners and FOX Sports have come to an agreement to merge the XFL and USFL on a non-binding term sheet that is currently undergoing regulatory review with the Department of Justice.
The XFL and USFL agreed to terms the day prior to both leagues releasing a public statement of their intent to merge on September 28th. A week after, Axios broke the story of an imminent merger between both leagues.
In recent days, the verbiage associated with the two league’s press release, along with the cautionary statement attached, has led some to speculate that perhaps the necessary paperwork had yet to be filed. Or that both sides were still ironing out details.
Based on information from parties within both leagues, that speculation is inaccurate.
The merger terms on the term sheet have been submitted for review and approval. The 30-day waiting period has already begun.
Both sides, the USFL and XFL will remain separate entities until the merger terms are reviewed and completed. Once that process is complete, a binding deal would then be signed.
The XFL and USFL are going through a quiet period for a minimum of 30 days as the Department of Justice goes through a review of this potential merger. In matters like this, the Federal Trade Commision could take lead in the review process. However, the expectation is that the DOJ is assuming that role.
Because of the size of this transaction, the regulatory approval process can take up to 30 days or longer, depending on if the DOJ comes back seeking more information or if they ask for a second request. The anti-trust lawyers are unsure of how long this process will take.
During this period, neither side is doing any gun jumping before the review process is complete and a deal is signed. Employees for both leagues have been made acutely aware that they should put their heads down, do their jobs, and let the DOJ do their thing.
Staff members in the USFL and XFL have been instructed to not disclose information of the pending merger deal. Because it could lead to further or an expanded review by the DOJ. For now both leagues are publicly standing by their intent to merge statement during this quiet period.
League employees on both sides have been told to conduct business as usual. Because neither party can do anything until the merger is complete. While FOX and RedBird await the ruling back from the DOJ.
The goal is to get certainty before clarity can be provided to all league employees.
Although there have been several speculative scenarios released by members of both leagues to myself of what a merged XFL and USFL could look like. There are only a select few people at the very top of both leagues that know all the fine details of this potential merger.
Besides the lawyers for both leagues, of course.
The exclusive list of people in the know include, XFL Owners Gerry Cardinale, Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, League CEO Russ Brandon, RedBird Managing Director Kevin LaForce, FOX Sports CEO/Executive President Eric Shanks, and USFL President Daryl ‘Moose’ Johnston.
Russ Brandon has been in the windstorm of these talks between both leagues as a point man for the XFL, leading the way throughout the entire process. It’s one that’s been in discussion for quite some time. Because there are many connections between both leagues, exploratory and preliminary talks of a potential union have been in place for a while. But it’s Brandon, on behalf of RedBird, who has been a key facilitator in this process.
Perhaps before Halloween arrives, USFL and XFL supporters, players, coaches, and employees, will find out what the tricks and treats are in this merger. The devil will be in the details of what could be the most monumental thing to happen in the spring pro football landscape.
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